Saturday 19 January 2019

Gary Neville identifies who should replace Jose Mourinho as he hits out at the Manchester United board

Mauricio Pochettino
Mauricio Pochettino
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Gary Neville believes Tottenham manager Maurucio Pochettino should take over as Manchester United manager following the sacking of Jose Mourinho.

In a passionate assessment of the current plight of his former club after a turbulent start to the Premier League season, United legend Neville gave his verdict on what should happen next following the exit of Mourinho.

"I said last season that the next manager of United should be Mauricio Pochettino," stated Neville. "When you look at the values of United, you look at his use of young players. You look at the way in which he carries himself publicly and in private. For me he just feels like the most ideal candidate.

"You look at his belief in young players at Southampton and Tottenham, his performance levels and style of play, the way he carries himself at all times publicly and in private and he seems to be the ideals candidate.

"People will say he hasn't won anything, but United have tried managers that won European Cups, they have tried managers that won multiple leagues, tried managers who have had that solid grounding in the Premier League.

"Now they need someone who meets the three key principles of that football club; the promotion of youth, entertaining football and to win football matches. At this moment in time, Pochettino is the outstanding candidate for that."

Neville went on to suggest the United board and the club's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward should take a share of the blame for Mourinho's failure at Old Trafford, as he argued any manager would fail in the current set-up.

"What I would say is there has been seven years of bad decisions and bad recruitment," he continued. "I'm not sure who makes the final say on who should be signed. I can't see anyone making that decision.

"The current management team have had three chances to appoint a manager and they are probably going to get a fourth.

"This is not the moment to sack Jose Mourinho and get another manager. This is a moment to reset the structure, the decision making in the football club.

"They have to make sure the next manager is the right manager if it is the one we thinks it's going to be. They've got to reset the football structure in the club and not just hide behind the manager.

"The moment earlier on in the season when the board decided not to back a couple of Jose Mourinho signings, you are finished as a manager at that point.

"The club have the right to say no to the signings if they feel it is right, but you have to realise the consequences of that. You have to realise you are on a collision course.

"But you have to understand the consequences once you undermine a manager or don't agree with his signings, and you're going against them."

Neville went on to suggest Mourinho remains one of the game's great modern managers, despite being sacked by Chelsea and United in a little over three years.

"Jose Mourinho is a wonderful manager and I've never bought into the idea that he is a spent force and he has run his course," he added. "If you are going to be the most successful manager in global football with Pep Guardiola, you are going to have a dip.

"Manchester United is a very difficult football club right now. Yes he has been supported in the transfer market to a level, but it is a difficult club at a time when others are doing things better.

"Whoever came into that football club would find things difficult because Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham are doing things better. Manchester United have fallen behind in the last five or six years."

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